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Minnesota House says U.S. should trade with Cuba

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Hastings, 55033
Hastings Minnesota 745 Spiral Boulevard 55033

Under the watchful eye of Minnesota Twins baseball great and Cuba native Tony Oliva, the Minnesota House approved a resolution asking the federal government to end a trade ban with Cuba.

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However, despite the overwhelming 86-9 favorable vote, many Republicans refused to vote as a protest of Cuba's human rights history.

Rep. Bud Heidgerken, R-Freeport, said others have worse human rights violations. "I find China much more of a threat than Cuba and we seem to have an open relationship with them."

The bill asks the federal government to end the 40-year-old trade embargo, which in 2000 was amended to allow limited sale of food, medical supplies and medicine. Rep. Al Juhnke, DFL-Willmar, said Minnesota sold $20 million worth of those items to Cuba last year.

Juhnke, who recently visited Cuba as part of a state trade mission, said lifting the trade restrictions would help the Cuban people.

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